Monday, September 30, 2013

Can I Afford a Wedding Coordinator?

Think you can't afford to hire a coordinator for your wedding?  Are you sure you can afford not to?

Hiring a professional wedding coordinator can (and usually does) make or break your big day.  No matter how clear you are about your plans, there will always be questions, and sometimes utter confusion that comes up when things start to actually unfold.

Who should stop focusing on this magical moment in your lives to tell the caterer they didn't set the correct number of seats at table 5?  Or to remind the bridesmaids that they're in the wrong line-up order...again?  Who should run over to take care of things if you run out of cake plates?  I've seen too many couples make the mistake of thinking "Mom will take care of it" or "my sisters can help out".  The reality is that your family is (and absolutely should be) focused on the two of you, not the details.  They won't notice these things before they become a problem because they're going to be too busy being in the moment, YOUR moment.  That's where a professional comes in.  We take care of the details and keep everyone on track.

Our "Day of" Coordination Package includes:
- initial consultation
- unlimited phone and email access
- professional itinerary preparation
- complete coordination for rehearsal and "day of" events

Ask about our October 2013 Special: 
20% discount on "Day of" Coordination Packages!

To book your date, call us today at
Agape Weddings and Events   (317) 348-7642

or check out or website at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Children Invited?

Ten years ago, it was unheard of for a wedding invitation to exclude children.  And many don't find it any more appropriate today.  We've heard it called rude, selfish and inconsiderate.  However, even with the negative feedback, we're occasionally seeing couples who don't want children at their otherwise perfectly formal event, and we're hearing a wide array of reasons for this.  

Of course, the most obvious reason is the disruption that can come along with children who become tired and cranky after a long day of ceremony and reception.  A couple who have spent several months planning their perfect ceremony, and paid good money for a videographer to capture every special moment, may be worried they'll end up with a permanent reminder that their awe-inspiring vows were drowned out by a crying baby.  

But not every child-free request is about preserving the perfectness of the day.  We also hear couples who have opted to serve alcohol and genuinely don't want to expose children to the expectation of intoxicated adults.  They speak of it as equal to inviting children to a tavern for an adult party.  

Some others have childhood memories of "Aunt Sarah's wedding" where they were bored to tears and expected to behave eloquently while all they really wanted to do was go outside and play.  Why would they want to do his to another generation of children?

Whatever the reason, for some couples it's important enough to say no.  Meanwhile, other couples couldn't imagine not having their younger siblings or cousins share in their most special moments.  Either way, if children are going to attend your formal event, some simple planning ideas may help alleviate frustrations for the adults and children alike. 

-Children's table?  This can be debatable because some children do better being closely monitored next to mom & dad.  Most though, are happier and on better behavior when they can mingle with one another at their leisure.  You know the children in your family best.  Talk with your planner about options for including a children's table. 

-Provide plastic drinking cups with lids for younger children.  These can be fun, color coordinated and even personalized with names & dates.  Whatever you add, they will protect from spills and double as an excellent party favor.  (Let's face it, the kiddos have no interest in wine corks or soap petals as favors anyway.)

-Personalized, wedding coloring books are a growing trend.  Again, another great favor they can take home but coupled with a few crayons in a jar, they can be a life saver during the celebration.  

-Think puzzle games.  You remember those little hand held puzzle games we had as children before electronics were all the buzz.  Get the little ball through the maze, or slide the pieces to complete the picture.  A few scattered in the children's area can spark some renewed interest in a whole new generation.

Any or all of these ideas can make the day more enjoyable for your little guests while taking some pressure off the adults to entertain and monitor every move.  Of course, there are countless other treats and tactics that keep the boredom and accidents to a minimum.  Talk with your planner.  You'll be amazed at some ideas we've used that work wonders!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Choose a Wedding Planner Who Will Be Prepared

Ask questions!  You want to be sure the professional you hire is capable of meeting your needs.  Talk about their most recent events.  Ask what obstacles occurred and how they resolved it.

If they insist everything was perfect, you might want to keep looking.  (Something unplanned ALWAYS pops up or we wouldn't be such a necessity.)  They either weren't observant enough to be aware of the incident or they don't want to tell you about it.  Neither is a good sign!

If they're not willing to share information openly during the interview process, how can you expect them to be clear and upfront while planning your greatest lifetime celebration?

An experienced planner will have an encyclopedia of "OMG moments" and be more than happy to tell you about how they managed to pull of an outstanding event anyway.  (If for no other reason than because our friends and family are tired of hearing those stories.)  This is a time you need someone who is willing to tell you what part of your plan has potential to fall apart.  Not to say don't do it, but to at least be prepared with a back-up plan.  Someone who nods and says nothing can go wrong is definitely not going to be an asset when something does.  

Bottom line, you should feel comfortable that your planner will know how to head off adversities before they ever become visible to you or your guests.

Friday, September 13, 2013

An MP3 Player Doesn't Replace the Need for a Professional DJ

As we delve deeper into the electronic age, a common question we hear as planners is "Why can't I just connect my MP3 player or phone to a speaker instead of paying all that money for a DJ?".

The truth is, absolutely can.  Now, with that being said, it doesn't mean that you should.

Let's think about what we expect from a professional DJ:
We want them to play the songs we choose.  (CHECK!  My phone does that for free all day long.)  And sometimes in a particular order.  (BOOM!  Another task easily accomplished.)  It seems our do it yourself plan is off to a good start.  But that's just about where it stops.

Will your phone announce the bridal party as they enter?  Announce the special dances?  Speeches?  Cutting the cake?  Release tables to the buffet?  Point out something exciting but unplanned that you'll want people to remember?  Distract attention away from those things you don't want your celebration remembered for?  (None of that?  We're quickly loosing momentum in this debate now.)  What happens if plans go astray and the party needs to be put back on track?  (That can happen??  More often than you might think!)  Who will monitor your guests to determine what songs they respond to and adjust as needed to get people on the dance floor?  (You thought that would just spontaneously happen on it's own?  It's about a 50/50 chance in the right crowd.)  Will someone important to you have to stop being part of your celebration to start and stop the music, or find the right songs you chose for your special dances?  What if cords get pulled loose?  (Let's face it.  This is not the "hands-off" operation it started out sounding like.)  A real live DJ is your only guarantee.

A professional DJ will work closely with your coordinator to keep your guests not only entertained but also on-task.  They are key to maintaining a smooth flow to your event.  They should be experienced and trained to foresee and avoid possible disasters.  To ensure you get the right DJ, get referrals from your planner/coordinator or other vendors you trust.

My ultimate advice on the subject:  Leave the music and entertainment to the professionals.  They know their job better than anyone.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Avoid the Power Struggles in Planning!

Ugghh!  Whose wedding is this anyway??  Your parents want it this way, his parents want it that way.  Will ANYone ever be happy??

Believe it or not, you're not the first bride to feel this way.  It's a lot of pressure trying to balance everyone's ideas without hurting any feelings.  And let me say, it's not even possible because if you do it all "their way", your own feelings may be hurt in the end.   Not how the princess of the day should feel.

The solution, listen and speak with your heart.  Rarely are those bossy family members really trying to make it about themselves (even if it feels like it).  The goal is most always to make it as perfect as possible for you.   

Often you can head this issue off early by saying "this is the style we want to achieve for our wedding" and then invite them to offer ideas and suggestions "within your style" that they could help with.  However, be very clear that you are having this same conversation with both families and maybe even your friends so you need ideas, not actions.  This way you've established that you do want and appreciate their help while still maintaining that you are in charge and other people's ideas are important too.  

Presto, you've not offended anyone!  Maybe even more importantly, they realize immediately that their idea may or may not be used rather that having to deal with hurt feelings later because they've "surprised" you by putting a deposit on a caterer you don't want or bought supplies to make centerpieces that don't match your theme.   

Worried this makes you sound selfish?  It doesn't at all.  In fact, your parents will likely be very proud of your sense of responsibility to ponder your options before putting your plans in place.  

Bottom line:  Communication is key!